Recipe: Weeknight Skillet Paella

Recipe: Weeknight Skillet Paella

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Sheela Prakash
Oct 21, 2016
(Image credit: Christine Han)

In a weeknight dinner rut? No worries, this easy paella is a quick cure. Consider it a mini trip to Spain after a tiring day at the office. This recipe streamlines the paella process, making it a dish you can throw together any night of the week.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

A Spanish Party on Your Plate, at Home, on a Weeknight

There's something about paella that just feels festive. This quick version definitely doesn't skimp on that feeling — maybe it's that hint of saffron that colors the dish and elevates it just ever so slightly. And if you don't have any saffron, it doesn't mean you can make this dish. Skip right over it or add 1/4 teaspoon each of paprika and turmeric in its place.

One thing you want to be sure to achieve is the socarrat. This is the crispy, crunchy bits of rice that form on the bottom of the pan that feel like a prize when you discover them under all the other good things. This paella doesn't call for a special pan and can be made in just about 30 minutes. So pour the wine (or the sangria) and start the party before the weekend arrives.

Weeknight Skillet Paella

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces dried Spanish chorizo, casing and ends removed, diced (about 3/4 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio or other short-grain white rice
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch saffron threads
1 cup frozen peas
12 ounces uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Heat oil in a 9- or 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and it browns, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.

Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes and their juices, salt, a few grinds of pepper, and saffron and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook without stirring until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 18 to 20 minutes.

Scatter the shrimp and peas over the rice, cover, and cook until the shrimp are pink and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes more. Taste and season with additional salt if needed. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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